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Happy Hour Roundup: Vitter apologizes to Maddow

* Senator David Vitter is apologizing to Rachel Maddow for suggesting she only looked like a woman "a long time ago." Vitter's office sends over the note of apology he's written to the talk show host:

Dear Rachel,

Regarding my remark during a radio conversation today, I apologize.

The hosts made their comment and I obviously chimed in. While we do not usually agree on the issues, I do not think you deserved that comment.

Sincerely,

David

* Is this really the problem? Michael Scherer reports that Obama advisers worry that voters don't support the idea of more government spending to create jobs.

* MSNBC's First Read gang reads the polls and tells John Boehner that the public wants more regulation, not less.

* If Dems sustain sizable losses this fall, as expected, the narrative will inevitably be that Dems got shellacked because their agenda is too liberal, not because the economy dragged them down.

* David Kurtz notes the profound irony at play in Michele Bachmann's plan to create an inside-the-Beltway-type "caucus" for the spontaneous, grassroots Tea Party movement.

* Steve Benen flags an amazing number from the new Pew poll -- only 34% know the big bank bailout was enacted under Bush -- and concludes:

I guess the frequent Republican complaints about "bailouts" led much of the public to not only forget what year TARP passed, but also forget who supported it.

* Chris Cillizza has a nice post explaining why we shouldn't count out Sharron Angle just yet.

* Bad sign for Dems: More than a dozen House Dem incumbents were outraised by GOP challengers this quarter.

* But DCCC chair Chris Van Hollen unveils a new strategy, telling Sam Stein that if the GOP retakes the House and gains subpoena power they'll paralyze Washington with unending investigations.

* David Axelrod vows the White House will use the passage of FinReg to draw a very aggressive contrast with the GOP this fall.

* Very useful read: Jonathan Martin has the full rundown of tea leaf reading on the 2012 GOP field, all in one place.

* CNN's Peter Hamby amplifies the point I made earlier: Sarah Palin is going to have a heck of a time stepping outside of Palin Nation.

* And no matter how many times people say otherwise, it is not a concession in any way, shape or form for Karl Rove to say that his biggest mistake was not fighting back against Dem charges that Bush lied us into war. It is the opposite of a concession.

What else is happening?

UPDATE, 10:10 a.m.: Rachel Maddow has accepted Senator Vitter's apology. I'm told she replied to him with the following note:

Dear Senator Vitter --

As a former radio host who knows how on-air exchanges like that can escalate, I both understand how it happened, and appreciate the apology.

Thank you.

Best wishes,

Rachel

And I'm taking today off, because I need a break and have some stuff to do. Please let me know what I'm missing, if you can be bothered.

By Greg Sargent  |  July 16, 2010; 5:10 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , 2012 , Financial reform , House Dems , House GOPers , Political media , Senate Republicans , Tea Party  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Senator Vitter suggests Rachel Maddow only looked like a woman "a long time ago"
Next: The Morning Plum: Obama on the offensive

Comments

This for the "no new regulations" crowd:

* Detector bypassed before W.Va. coal disaster *

An electrician at the Upper Big Branch mine, scene of a disastrous explosion that killed 29 miners, confirmed that he was ordered to bypass the methane detector on a piece of mining equipment -- an action that has become part of an ongoing federal criminal probe growing out of the disaster...

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10196/1072880-84.stm

Via Tomasky

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2010/jul/16/usa-coal-probe-west-virginia-massey

We need more regulations on corporations like Massey Coal, not less.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 16, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Vitter still isn't going to get an invite from the Cheneys for Thanksgiving -- or a card at Christmas.

Though he might get an invitation from Dick to go on a hunting trip. (Wear an iron face mask, David.)

Posted by: WhateverHeSaid | July 16, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Repeal of hcr and fin reg could poetentally affect who the most? SENIORS! No more donut hole closed, plus with Republicans again talking about privatizing SS no fin reg makes them vulnerable if we have another crisis. And guess who votes in mid terms? IfDems cant sell seniors against voting Republican they dont deserve to win.

As for spending on job creation, which ever idiots are worried about that in the WH should travel the country to unemployment lines and ask those folks if they mind more govt spending for job creation. When it comes to the economy the ends will ALWAYS justify the means.

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | July 16, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Greg: This blog kicks Ezra's b@&t. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: paul65 | July 16, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Greg, I don't think the link you have for the Palin story is right. It's going to the Politico story about fundraising.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | July 16, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

*Facts belie GOP fear-mongering about coming Medicare cuts*

...Let's set the record straight: the legislation actually increases the reimbursement rates for physicians and includes no cuts to benefits for those enrolled in the traditional Medicare program.

The only thing the legislation cuts is waste and fraud — the latter of which, between Medicare and Medicaid, costs taxpayers an estimated $60 billion each year. It also greatly reforms something called Medicare Advantage, a program that has been exploited by private insurance companies.

[...]

In short, the legislation makes the Medicare program leaner and more efficient and does nothing to discourage doctors from accepting Medicare patients. Republicans, unsurprisingly, are crying foul about a problem that doesn't actually exist. That's not to say that we shouldn't be worried about physicians and their willingness and ability to accept Medicare patients - we just need to be worried for a different reason.

[...]

Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, recently released a statement charging Democrats of using "disingenuous Medicare propaganda." I can only say in response, that facts are stubborn things.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/07/15/97579/facts-belie-gop-fear-mongering.html

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 16, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

" Obama advisers worry that voters don't support the idea of more government spending to create jobs."

F-ing retards.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 16, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

If Republicans take control of the House, they WILL seek to IMPEACH Obama.

PERIOD.

They've been setting the stage for all the necessary investigations for 18 months now: birther conspiracy, etc.

In all seriousness, this is the time for all Ds to immediately update their monthly contributions to the party.

Posted by: paul65 | July 16, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Hey SG! Long time :) Hope you've been well.

Have a great weekend everyone, and thanks as usual Greg! Stay cool all. Lord knows, June was the hottest June ever, yikes.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upshot/20100716/sc_yblog_upshot/noaa-june-2010-hottest-june-ever

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 16, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Uh-oh.

"Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said Friday afternoon that pressure readings from the cap have not reached the level that would show there are no other leaks in the well. He said the test will go ahead for another six-hour period before being reassessed to see if BP needs to reopen the cap and let oil spill out again."

http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/07/test_results_from_oil_well_not.html

Posted by: wbgonne | July 16, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Shorter Vitter:

Dear Rachel,

Please don't mention my fetish and that "lay for pay" thing on your program.

David

Posted by: bearclaw1 | July 16, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

"June was the hottest June ever, yikes."

Yes, but it snowed last December so it's all good.

Posted by: wbgonne | July 16, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

"MSNBC's First Read gang reads the polls and tells John Boehner that the public wants more regulation, not less."

Duh. Listening, Rahm?

Posted by: wbgonne | July 16, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

thanks, shrodingers. fixed.

and thx for reading, paul...

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 16, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

"Chris Van Hollen unveils a new strategy, telling Sam Stein that if the GOP retakes the House and gains subpoena power they'll paralyze Washington with unending investigations."

Might work to motivate the base. But this is how I'd put it: Do you really want to let the GOP do to Obama what they did to Clinton?

Posted by: wbgonne | July 16, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

One major factor in the fall elections is the quality of the GOP candidates.

From what I've seen, there is going to be a lot of messy elections out there: lousy, crazy GOP candidates plus tea party vote-splitting. As long as everyone keeps assuming that the fall is a generic Dem-GOP election, they'll fail to predict what's going to happen in specific contexts.

We're going to have more NY 23s than we think.

Posted by: BGinCHI | July 16, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Ethan2010,

Neither one of those links showed where there was a lack of regulations. The fact that they are conducting a criminal probe kind of speaks to the idea that regulations were in fact violated. Again, unitl we know what, if any regulations were violated, why demand more?

Or were you thinking of enforcement of said regulations? if so, I'm copying skipsailors comment from the Boehner thread as it is relevant:

"the position of the american left is that proper regulation, properly applied will solve the vast majority of the challenges Americans face.

Its a nice theory, it just isn't supported by the actual facts."

"first, the employees of the regulating agency must be attentive to their tasks. It is always the case that inattention is the end state for most people. Keeping employees focused is a major challenge for many business managers. Now try keeping people focused on minute details that matter to only a few people. Now add in the fact that the employees KNOW that they cannot be fired and failure is looming large.

Next, the folks that the regulators spend the most time with are the regulatees. Whether it is some state's Public Utilities Commission or the MMS, the simple fact is that relationships arise between the two groups. The PUC folks may be hired to protect the public at large, but it is Larry from the electric company that the interact with routinely. This familiarity lessens the efficacy of regulation, especially punitive, poorly written regulation.

Finally we have a problem that is intrinsic to our republic. Right now we are sustaining a massive standing government. The number of unaccountable, unelected, unappointed, unconfirmed employees of the Federal Government boggles the mind.

And what do these hoards of employees want? they want to keep their jobs. So when liberals proclaim that smarter people at the top will make these agencies perform better they are kidding themselves. The agencies are so large and so politically connected that they will respond to very little outside influence. "
Posted by: skipsailing28 | July 16, 2010 5:18 PM


Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 16, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Vitter again shows us what he's made of. When you can't argue your position or talk yourself in a corner, simply belittle someone. It's even better when it's a woman and you can take a swipe at her looks, or make a thinly-veiled snide-swipe at her being a lesbian. You must be terribly proud of yourself.

Posted by: jaynashvil | July 16, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Someone told me today that TARP was introduced back in march of 07 and initially passed the house in March of 08. And that Bush did another WMD scaring the nation to get the Senate to pass the bill right before he left in 10/08.

Does anyone know if this is true? I can't find the original votes or the original legislation.

Posted by: soapm | July 16, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

If this link is right then it is true that TARP was introduced

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:HR1424: on 3/9/2007. I wonder did Bush get us again???

Anyway, the TARP vote that Limpballs and the Republican's are purring on the Democrats was the one what released the second half of the money to Obama. That's it folks, the Republican's have made America believe the second vote to release the second half of the money was the actual TARP vote.

It is a shame Reagan got rid of the fairness doctrine which made every station present both sides of an issue. This right wing imbalance of facts is confusing the people as to who is really destroying the nation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairness_Doctrine

Posted by: soapm | July 16, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

@paul65: Don't give money to the dem party, give it to individual candidates that you think are doing a good job. I don't want 1 penny going to Big Ben Nelson or Blanched Lincoln.

Posted by: srw3 | July 16, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

@tmwn: Are you saying that it doesn't matter if agencies are headed by people that understand and want to enforce regulations or if agencies are headed by people actively and agressively trying to undermine those regulations (ie republican appointees)?

Posted by: srw3 | July 16, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

"MSNBC's First Read gang reads the polls and tells John Boehner that the public wants more regulation, not less."
----------------------------------------------

Doesn't matter. Republicans can't help themselves.

Posted by: CalD | July 16, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Another "Open mouth, Insert Shoe" moment for the Republicans. It is getting to be boooooorrrrrrrriiiiiiiinnnnnngggggggg!

Is there a special tree on which these fruits grow? It has been an excellent season so far.

Posted by: kishorgala | July 16, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

srw3,

"Are you saying that it doesn't matter if agencies are headed by people that understand and want to enforce regulations or if agencies are headed by people actively and agressively trying to undermine those regulations (ie republican appointees)?"

I'm arguing that the regulatories agencies of the government suffer from systemic problems innate to them and therefore cannot provide the kind of "effective" regulatory regime that people somehow think can exist. Now, these are my words, not Skipsailing so don't blame him!

I also disagree with your assertion that Bush appointee's were "actively and agressively trying to undermine those regulations". I do not believe that any appointee's were put there to accomplish said undermining. That being said, I do think the political appointee's end up having little or no control over the agencies they head, due to their large entrenched bureuracracies, so even if the Chief Executive did appoint such an individual, it would make very little difference.

I want to be explicite here so we do not end up arguing in circles. I think government is innately corrupt and inefficient even if "led" by decent, honest and sincere people. The bureucracy ends up existing to serve itself, for many of the reasons that Skipsailing mentioned.

We can argue about the intentions of various appointee's, I'm more than willing to flog a dead horse about the previous administration, but in the end, I think that generally government solutions often choose the least effecient effective solution, or no solution at all because of endemic attributes not because of "bad" intentions. So saying that "more regulations" will fix this problem or that tends to sound to me like, "we need more regulations to fix the problems that the previous regulations created."

Just so we can remain focused on the discussion at hand, I do not think that all government regulations are bad or improperly convieved or enforced. I tend to think that the bigger the government gets, the worse the regulations and enforcement bodies get.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 16, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Re: Vitter's Apology

To me, it all DEPENDS on whether or not he was sincere. It sure sounds like the hosts PAMPERed him. Maybe he should offer to publicly embrace Maddow, you know, the old HUGGIES strategy.

Re: The Scherer link and recovery action.

This is beyond frustrating. The spending/deficit charge is only truly problematic if the jobs situation stays this bad.

Obama's coalition is being devastated by the recession. To not act -- to whatever extent Obama's team holds the reigns on this -- is reckless to say the least.

There's a lot of confusion still over the bailout vs. the stimulus, which did what, and when the two started.

Call something new a "jobs action" bill and the numbers will be lopsided. The GOPers can call it a stimulus, since they've just touted so many stimulus funded projects in their districts and states, it sets Dems up for a nice response.

As far as the midterms go, it's either going to be progress on jobs crowding out the deficit concerns, or a lack of sufficient progress amplifying the deficit concerns. This is not rocket science.

You know what voters definitely don't support? High unemployment. The WH political advisers worry voters don't support more action? At times like this, I worry they don't support basic competence.

Let's keep Social Security cuts on the table and completely set ourselves up to get crushed! Yeah, that's the ticket! Do you love us now, David Brooks? How about now?

"And finally, the White House is trying to explain to angry liberals that it's doing everything possible to keep the economy moving and fight Republican resistance to new spending."

This is surely true of some advisers. But who is winning out? I used to feel inclined to the White House the benefit of the doubt, but not anymore.

Darn those "angry liberals" (I realize it was Scherer's phrase) for being right on substance. And who do they think they are... actually wanting to move on jobs when jobs are the #1 issue in the election.

They need more "pragmatism"... that's what they need. When the most pressing problem is jobs, you fetishize the deficit. Duh. What else would would you do? At the very least speak boldly about jobs? No! Not pragmatic!

Persuadable voters want results.
The base probably needs something more potent than "Look at those crazy Republicans!" to turn out. That should be part of the mobilization message, but does the WH really think it should be the bulk of it?

In moments like this, I think "The Great Squanderers" label has some real merit.

End rant.

Posted by: michael_conrad | July 16, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Hey Senator Vitter - what are you apologizing for? You can't argue with the truth!

Posted by: Aquila729 | July 16, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse


It does not matter to me if Vitter's apology to Rachel Maddow was sincere or not. If Vitter was being insincere, so much the better.

Posted by: screwjob17 | July 16, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Home come so many Republicans are such ashwipes? Is it in the party platform or something that they, at least once year, have to be jerk wads?

Posted by: Genefox1 | July 16, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

@tmwn: I also disagree with your assertion that Bush appointee's were "actively and agressively trying to undermine those regulations". I do not believe that any appointee's were put there to accomplish said undermining.

Were you asleep for the entire bush administration?

Abandoning aggressive approaches to regulatory enforcement – like the use of the courts to force compliance – the Bush administration favored “voluntary” compliance schemes which often had little effect. The SEC, for instance, relied heavily on voluntary regulation of financial institutions. After the financial meltdown in 2008, the Chairman of the SEC admitted that this approach was “fundamentally flawed from the beginning … because investment banks could opt in or out of supervision voluntarily."

In conservative administrations, the job of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs is to review every proposed regulation and see it if may be too costly, particularly to business. If so, it is sent back to the particular agency for review or repeal. For much of the Bush administration, this agency was run by John Graham – a well-known opponent of much federal regulation. In the past, he had written that efforts to regulate such things as nuclear power and PCBs were simply a product of “a hypochondria raging among various consumer advocates and public interest groups.”...In fact, when Graham entered office, he secretly surveyed business groups in order to compile a hit list of regulations they considered too onerous. The list included a wide variety of environmental, health, and safety regulations, including some addressing pesticide use, coal-mine ventilation, air and water quality, lead paint disclosure, toxic-release reporting, and family and medical leave... As another lobbyist observed, “With Graham in that job, we figured we could get whatever we want.”

Refusing to Fill Appointments. Bush often took an inordinate amount of time filling high-level management vacancies in agencies he didn’t like. This left these agencies adrift, often run by temporary appointments who tended to not be very aggressive in pursuing the mandate of these organizations.

“Relaxing” Rules. Bush officials would look for opportunities to create exceptions or loopholes to rules so that various businesses could escape regulation. For example, they relaxed nationwide permit rules so coal companies, developers, and others could fill in thousands of streams, swamps, and other wetlands, without public notice or comment.

Reducing Enforcement. Regulations are only effective if they are enforced vigorously. Bush appointees routinely worked to weaken enforcement. For example, they cut the civil penalties that polluters had to pay by half – weakening the incentives to comply with environmental protection rules. cont...

Posted by: srw3 | July 16, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Very good piece by Ed Kilgore:

"If you really want to understand "polarization" in today's political climate, you have to understand that Ds and Rs, and conservatives and liberals, live in very different worlds when it comes to facts and relevant information. We've seen an unusually graphic illustration of this reality during the last week, when much of the conservative chattering classes have been obsessed not with the financial regulation bill, not with Republican primary battles, but with the premise that there's a massive effort underway led by the Obama administration to harrass and demonize white people..."
more here http://www.thedemocraticstrategist.org/strategist/2010/07/anti-anti-racism.php#comments

Posted by: bernielatham | July 16, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Another example was the reduction of inspectors and inspections in areas like food safety and mine safety. In 2003, the FDA conducted over 11,000 inspections a year for food safety – a figure that fell to 6,000 by 2007.

Bush routinely appointed officials whose political priorities ran exactly counter to the missions of the agencies they were charged with running. And many of these appointees worked for or represented the very industries that these agencies were supposed to be policing. For example, important posts in the Food and Drug Administration were filled by people who had careers working for the drug industry.
Exhibit One is Daniel Troy, who Bush appointed to be Chief Counsel for the Food and Drug Administration. Previously, as a lawyer, he filed a number of lawsuits against the FDA arguing against its right to regulate drug companies. Once in office, he stalled efforts to investigate the problems surrounding ephedra - a dietary supplement implicated in the deaths of more than 100 people. Amazingly, in a speech he gave to drug industry lawyers after his appointment, he offered the help of the government in defending these companies against lawsuits by consumers, such as those claiming that medications caused devastating side effects. Not coincidentally, enforcement actions against improper drug advertising went down dramatically after his appointment.

J. Steven Griles was another example of a Bush appointment that seemed designed to sabotage the agency to which he was appointed. He served as Deputy Secretary of the Interior in Bush’s first term. He worked previously as a high-paid lobbyist for the coal and oil companies – the very industries he was then put in charge of regulating. Not surprisingly, the National Mining Association celebrated his appointment, lauding him as “an ally of the industry.”

Eugene Scalia, appointed to be Labor Department Solicitor. Scalia’s sympathies were unlikely to be on the side of labor since his previous job was specializing in anti-labor law and representing the management side in labor disputes.

Michael F. Duffy, Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission. His primary experience was working as an attorney for the National Mining Association and the American Mining Congress.

Jeffrey Holmstead, who became the EPA's assistant administrator for Air and Radiation. How protective could he be of the environment when he formerly worked as a lawyer representing numerous corporations seeking to block environmental regulations?
--all quotes from www.governmentisgood.com/articles.php?aid=15&p=1

Its not like the deregulatory zeal of the bush administration was a secret.

Based on this, don't you think you should reconsider "I also disagree with your assertion that Bush appointee's were "actively and agressively trying to undermine those regulations". I do not believe that any appointee's were put there to accomplish said undermining."

Posted by: srw3 | July 16, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

@Greg (from yesterday's round up)

"Obama and the White House lampoon GOP Rep. Pete Hoekstra for showing up at a ribbon cutting for a stimulus-funded project after opposing the stimulus."

I'm not sure if you remember, but I laid out that EXACT idea in middle/late of last year, when Maddow was on a tear about the hypocrisy of the GOP for showing up to these things and giving out big checks.

I specifically said that the President should go to a big opening in the district/state of one of those hypocrites, and slam them for it right in their own back yard.

Genius, and effective.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | July 16, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

"Soldiers killed themselves at the rate of one per day in June making it the worst month on record for Army suicides, the service said Thursday." http://www.usatoday.com/news/military/2010-07-15-army-suicides_N.htm

However, the suicide rate among the Bush administration people responsible for sending these soldiers there is very much lower.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 16, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Benen makes a catch from the Politico piece I entirely missed...

"A Palin aide talked to Politico, which published my favorite sentence of the day:

"'For Washington consultants to sit around and personally disparage the Governor anonymously to reporters is unfortunate and counterproductive and frankly immature,' the aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity, continued."

Posted by: bernielatham | July 16, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Well, of course they'd do this...

"BP Launches Effort To Control Scientific Research Of Oil Disaster

Foreign oil giant BP is on a spending spree, buying Gulf Coast scientists for its private contractor army. Scientists from Louisiana State University, Mississippi State University and Texas A&M have “signed contracts with BP to work on their behalf in the Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) process” that determines how much ecological damage the Gulf of Mexico region is suffering from BP’s toxic black tide. The contract, the Mobile Press-Register has learned, “prohibits the scientists from publishing their research, sharing it with other scientists or speaking about the data that they collect for at least the next three years.” Bob Shipp, head of marine sciences at the University of South Alabama — whose entire department BP wished to hire — refused to sign over their integrity to the corporate criminal:

'We told them there was no way we would agree to any kind of restrictions on the data we collect. It was pretty clear we wouldn’t be hearing from them again after that. We didn’t like the perception of the university representing BP in any fashion.'

The lucrative $250-an-hour deal “buys silence,” said Robert Wiygul, an Ocean Springs environmental lawyer who analyzed the contract..." more at link
http://thinkprogress.org/2010/07/16/bp-closed-research/

Posted by: bernielatham | July 16, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

"Emergency Committee for Israel’ Based Out Of ‘Committee for the Liberation of Iraq’ Offices

In a nice catch, Eli Clifton reports that the Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI), the latest neocon astroturf pro-war outfit, is based out of the same office as a previous neocon astroturf pro-war outfit, the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq (CLI):

The evidence lies in a a letter from ECI’s executive director (pdf), Noah Pollak, to Comcast regarding the attack ad the group has been running in Pennsylvania. The letterhead bears the following address: “918 Pennsylvania Ave., SE · Washington, D.C. 20003.”

'That address happens to be the same as that of Orion Strategies, a public-relations consultancy owned and operated by renowned GOP lobbyist Randy Scheunemann, who, in addition to serving as president of the CLI, has been retained since the 2008 elections as Sarah Palin’s personal — and Bill Kristol-approved — foreign-policy trainer.'"
http://thinkprogress.org/2010/07/16/israel-iraq-committee/

The connections between the neoconservative crowd and Palin don't arise out of her foreign policy expertise. I find it difficult to see any other reason for their support for the lady other than that she would serve, a la Bush, as a useful idiot.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 16, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Nice rant Michael and I know if we can just keep the pressure on to make them better it will eventually work. At some point before 2012 the President will suddenly roll out of bed saying, "Wow, I need to energize my base". LOL

Here's one way to make regulations better which goes along with srw's quotes. How about if we put someone in charge who actually cares about the people the regulations are there to protect. There's a big grassroots movement asking President Obama to select Elizabeth Warren to head the new consumer protection agency. Talk about bull dogs and grizzlies, she's the real deal.

Here's a portion of a letter circulating through congress asking the president to choose her. Keep your fingers crossed. There's also a request in the link to call the WH.

"A consumer financial protection body was Dr. Warren’s idea, first expressed in a journal article in 2007, and we can think of no better person to be its first Director. As a professor at Harvard Law School since 1982, she has risen to national prominence in the area of economics of the middle class. Even before the financial crisis, Professor Warren was warning of risky financial products and of lenders who “deliberately built tricks and traps into some credit products so they can ensnare families in a cycle of high-cost debt.” As Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel she has been an essential voice of reason in the wake of the financial crisis– and an ardent supporter of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act."

http://news.firedoglake.com/2010/07/16/congress-progressives-roll-out-in-support-of-elizabeth-warren/

Posted by: lmsinca | July 16, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

What else is happening?

Our liberal MSM, people:

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/07/16/nyt/index.html

Standard "It's not torture when we do it" from the NYT. The WaPo, if anything, is even worse.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | July 16, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

srw3,

"Were you asleep for the entire bush administration?"

No, but thank you for your concern.

"Its not like the deregulatory zeal of the bush administration was a secret.

Based on this, don't you think you should reconsider "I also disagree with your assertion that Bush appointee's were "actively and agressively trying to undermine those regulations". I do not believe that any appointee's were put there to accomplish said undermining."

First let me thank you for your comment(s). I would like first to apologize for not fully expounding on my statement "I do not believe that any appointee's were put there to accomplish said undermining." it was not as explicit as it needed to be. In my mind, there certainly could have been and certainly was regulations that were intentionally not enforced, or even circumvented and/or ignored. Also under the Bush regime, I'm sure were attempts and successes at rolling back and repealing regulations. I think these actions can be done in good faith (i'm not so naive as to think they're weren't bad actors using, and not using regulations and enforcements for personal and/or political gain). For example, a regulation is out of date or in fact may be counterproductive to safety or change in agency policy. Government regulations run to hundreds of thousands of pages and while many (maybe even most) are well intentioned they may not in fact be well thought out or relevant.

Before I attempt to address the many examples you thoughtfully supplied I also want to say that I beleive you come at this subject in good faith, as in, you believe these things sincerely and not just for the sake of scoring some rhetorical victory. The reason I bring it up is because there will be points in addressing the items you mentioned where I disagree with your conclusions and/or assumptions. I'm not accusing you of lying. I am either disagreeing with your interpretation of supplied evidence and/or coming to different conclusions with that evidence. Like I wrote earlier, our world-views are probably very far apart.

I'll try to start in order in my next post. I may not address each item you mention. Some I may think I already covered and others I just may plain miss as I'm a fairly shallow reader, so thanks in advance for your patience.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 16, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

"However, the suicide rate among the Bush administration people responsible for sending these soldiers there is very much lower."


Greenwald makes this point today too.

"Jay Bybee's sociopathic self-absorption"

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/07/16/sociopaths/index.html

Posted by: notjenna | July 16, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

These jewish kids, always with the cracking wise...

"Tim Carney and a few other hardy souls have spent the past 18 months trying to convince the world that not only is Barack Obama’s agenda influenced by business interests and corporate lobbyists, it’s actually the agenda of big business, which is presumably sitting on the sidelines weeping over the GOP’s defense of the little guy."
http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/07/the-boehner-agenda/

Posted by: bernielatham | July 16, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

srw3,

"the Bush administration favored “voluntary” compliance schemes which often had little effect. The SEC, for instance, relied heavily on voluntary regulation of financial institutions. After the financial meltdown in 2008, the Chairman of the SEC admitted that this approach was “fundamentally flawed from the beginning … because investment banks could opt in or out of supervision voluntarily."" Hindsight is obviously 20/20. I'm a bit cynical in these regards because I think we've witnessed, for example, the revolving door between all administrations and entities like Goldman Sachs. The heads of the organizations end up regulating themselves therefore and probably take a rather generous view of their industries honesty and any wrongdoing is chalked up to individual bad actors rather than any systemic problem. That's pretty common I think. That leaves the door open for actors like Fannie and Freddie, for example, to add not prime mortgages to their MBS, or to even think, to take again a rather generous view of things, that since they're backstopping the MBS, not loan is below prime. All could be interpreted as well intentioned if extremely naive. Peoples perceptions about their industries capabilities, both good and bad are imperfect. The financial meltdown occurred from things like poor regulatory oversight, but do not discount moral hazards like, essentially interest free loans from the fed, tax incentives to borrow money, encouragement to provide loans to poor risks because they will be purchased by Fannie/Freddie, rewards for leaders of GOE's to purchase subprime loans as away to encourage lending to less credit worthy individuals as way to encourage home ownership and business start-ups. A lot of problems arise from government policy distorting markets to accomplish good intentions, like home ownership or staving off or alleviating recessions.

"n conservative administrations... we could get whatever we want.”" To make me doubly freakish I do not understand why every administration does not ruthlessly vets regulations and constantly assess their value with the business community. This makes complete sense to me as regulations at times become out of date and/or counterproductive making some business less competitive to oversea's companies for example, but also some of these regulations unfairly favor one industry over another. I think a person could think some groups are reacting hysterically. Nuclear power, for example, is perhaps the safest way to generate electricity and the many regulations surrounding the building of new nuclear power plants should be either eliminated or circumvented. One could hold this view without necessarily wanting a core meltdown and massive radioactive contamination to occur. Also, since industry has to function under these regulatory restrictions, who better to ask about which ones should be reviewed? cont.


Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 16, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

@notjenna - Thanks for the Greenwald link. Let me post in the last graph (he also brings in Hayward of BP and George Tenet complaining of the travails they've personally suffered)...

"That's what happens when you create a society where elites can engage in the most wretched and destructive acts with total impunity: it engenders a blinding, empathy-free, effete sense of entitlement whereby they see themselves as the only ones who matter and their own plight as the only one worthy of consideration. If you build a political system grounded in the premise that there's an elite caste so special and elevated that they are entitled even to hover above the laws and rules to which everyone else is subjected, the beneficiaries of that caste system are always the first to believe in its virtue."

But for the modern right, "elites" of course means university professors who, it seems, run the world and have those to-die-for perks like marking papers and middle class incomes.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 16, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: bernielatham | July 16, 2010 9:28 PM
=================================

Converse will be cross with you, bernie. You must clap louder, or it's your fault when Tinkerbell Geithner cries.

P.S. By Simon Johnson

In modern American life, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner stands out as amazingly resilient and remarkably lucky – despite presiding over or being deeply involved in a series of political debacles, he has gone from strength to strength.

http://tinyurl.com/33mlprt/
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | July 16, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

"Converse will be cross with you, bernie. You must clap louder, or it's your fault when Tinkerbell Geithner cries."

Now that's funny!!!!!!!

Posted by: lmsinca | July 16, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

@thunder - I certainly don't want anyone cross at me. My heart would bleed.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 16, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

srw3, (cont)

"Refusing to Fill Appointments...." A large number of appointments require the consent of Congress and those negotiations can take a long time, leaving vacancies as a result. Also, finding the right person for key jobs may take time and persuading for people. I mean, you can assume that it is being done for nefarious reasons but often, Administrations have certain priorities and those get addressed first. As an example, The current President was accussed by the right wing of not filling posts fast enough. I find and found those accusations to be more or less politics as usual. It's like when a President takes vacation, the opposing party is always going to squak about it, it's a free hit, politics.

“Relaxing” Rules. Bush officials..." I'm guessing every administration does things like this and it often makes sense. Let me give you a personal example. I used to work in the waste water / water treatment business and had an account that discharged into the sewer system of a very rural and poor municipality a liquid of soap and ton-toxic blue dye. For some reason, the EPA redid Federal Standards for manufacturing plant waste streams and ordered this plant to either remove the "polutants" (surfactants and dye)from their waste stream or stop operating altogether. Now, the small municipality had no problem processing the plants waste stream, and used the fee it charged the plant to subsidize the cost of sewage treatment to the very poor residents of this municipality. The plant discovered that it would cost several hundreds of thousands of dollars to bring their waste stream up to code, actually much more than what the municipality was charging them, and decided to move the plant to Mexico. As a result, all the customers of the municipalities sewage system got hit with a 40% increase in their water bill and lost about 100 good paying jobs as well as the taxes the plant was making, all to satisfy a regulation that while may have been well intentioned ending up making it much more difficult and costly to do business, and in this case, did not end up with any cleaner water!

So as not to be to pendantic, there are all sorts of reasons to enforce, not enforce, change, deregulate, and reregulate. I'm sure some appointees in the Bush regime were incompetent, it happens. Sometimes not enforcing a rule is a trade off. If we wanted, say, mining deaths to be zero, we could ban mining. The fact that we do not is an acknowledgement that the products of mining are worth the certain amount of accidents that will inevitably happen. If you do x, you get y, as well as z. To reduce z, you get d and e. Some of these will be trade offs to get other benefits.


Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 16, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

If the Democrats want to get square with the American citizens again they only have to do a few things. While you will not like them they will solve quite a few problems.

1. Drop the lawsuits with Arizona.

2. send 20,000 soldiers to the southern border with the orders to stop all illegal entry.

3. start reviewing every trade agreement we currently have and start leveling the playing field for the American worker. yes big business will scream but American workers will dance in the streets.


will you do any of them probably not but your current course of undercutting our workers and defending the illegal aliens is going to seriously hurt you in the polls and deservedly so.

You are never going to get an amnesty and you know sooner or later a president is going to stand up and say our trade rules are completely broken in favor of everybody but our workers and proceed to change them.

The Republicans are not going to change and big business is against you so why not say the hell with it and come down in favor of the middle class and the working poor? Just think of the voting block you could have or you can continue on your current course and get a few million Latino voters but lose a majority of citizens.

Posted by: PennyWisetheClown | July 16, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Digby is waiting for campaign style (my words) rhetoric I think. I know it's convenient to blame bloggers and progressives who may be on some level disappointed with the Administration, but I think her point is, give us something to work with that "immediately" improves the lives of the middle class. It's gonna be a long hot summer at this rate.

"The Republicans are actually running on a platform that says the unemployed are just lazy, that we must place a moratorium on all new regulation and that we need to cut the taxes of the wealthy even more. They are doing this at a time when we have nearly 10% protracted unemployment, housing foreclosures are still going up, Wall Street nearly destroyed the global financial system and we have the worst man made ecological disaster in our history happening right before our eyes. And yet large numbers of people think they should be put back in charge of the government and that the answer to our problems is for government to shrink.

Something's not getting through and the reason isn't that liberal bloggers are failing to clap loud enough. People just don't have anything other than this conservative mantra to work with."

Posted by: lmsinca | July 16, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

srw3 (cont)

Finally, I do not find it odd that a President might appoint someone whose political ties run counter to an agencies goals. Administration priorities change from administration to administration and even during the administration. Just as it's the current President's perogative, granting Congressional confirmation, to appoint, say, the president of the Sierra Club to the EPA, it seems just as legitimate if appointed the President of, say, Dupont, to that same position. Perhaps the current President appoints a labor lawyer previously employed by the SEIU to chair the NLRB and the Bush regime appoints a lawyer who negotiated contracts with the UAW on behalf of GM to that same board. One's seems to me to be legitimate as another. One administration thinks that unions are unfairly targeted by accounting disclosure rules and another administration feels that there is not enough accounting transparancy. Angency's priorities are not cut in stone and sacrosanct.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 16, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Another bright piece from Matt...

"I Would Call Peggy Noonan a Hyena-esque Rage Monkey But My Adult Supervisors Told Me That Would Be Too Mean


Peggy Noonan says American politics needs adult supervision:

'On the Internet, you read the fierce posts of political and ideological writers and wonder, Why do so many young bloggers sound like hyenas laughing in the dark? Maybe it’s because there’s no old hand at the next desk to turn and say, “Son, being an enraged, profane, unmoderated, unmediated, hit-loving, trash-talking rage monkey is no way to go through life.”'

At the Atlantic we actually had a meeting between myself, Ross Douthat, Andrew Sullivan, and James Bennett on the subject of when it was and wasn’t appropriate to use profanity in a blogging context. Here enjoying the think tank lifestyle, I just wonder wtf is up with all these name-calling newspaper columnists?"

There was one brief, shining moment where Noonan was honest in persona and word (she didn't know the mike was still open at the break in an interview immediately after Palin was announced as the VP candidate and said, "This is political bullshitt.")

Then, in her typical pretending-integrity style, she apologized...for using a "barnyard epithet".

Posted by: bernielatham | July 16, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Finally, I do not find it odd that a President might appoint someone whose political ties run counter to an agencies goals.
=================================

OK, I'll hop in. How about when the appointees in question break the law, the policies in question result in total disaster, and the dittoheads continue to defend these choices?

Your turn, now.

MMS, BP, and Deepwater Horizon. I'd like to see you use google and thus make your argument based on at least a loose reading of the facts.

No begging off for laziness, only the Doughy Pantload gets away with that.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | July 16, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Ifthethunderdontgetya,

I agree, Noonan lost all credibility when she endorsed Barry.

She's shown herself to be a complete idiot in everything she's written since.

http://www.peggynoonan.com/article.php?article=440

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 16, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

McWing, I found it interesting to hear your personal example. My youngest is off to grad school, School of Mines, to earn her Master's in Geology. Her first degree was Chemistry and second Geology, but her real passion is Hydro. She's done a lot of consulting in ground water issues, cleaning up wells polluted with arsenic, drilling new wells and helping manufactures set up new compliance systems or retro-fitting old systems. It's always a dilemma, as we've found here in CA, how much regulation is too much, right? We're leaning here to more environmental and ground water integrity, but it's difficult to keep the business community vibrant at the same time. These seem, to me, to be the issues of the future.

On a side note, her next educational endeavor is being completely funded by Chevron, so her life is getting more interesting all the time. She likes to tease me that she may end up working in Houston for five years to pay her dues before getting back to water. Even funnier, my Dad worked for Standard Oil as a chemical engineer in the 50's and my sister was born in Houston. LOL

Posted by: lmsinca | July 16, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

You can spot responsible journalism when it works this hard to get white people scared of or angry at black people (when there's a black Dem president)...

"REPORT: Fox News Has Hyped Phony New Black Panthers Scandal At Least 95 Times"

http://mediamatters.org/research/201007160038

Posted by: bernielatham | July 16, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Ifthethunderdontgetya,

I'm sorry, my previous comment was directed at BernieLathem.

As far as MMS, if Barry's appointee, Birnbaum, broke the law, than by all means, prosecute her. In fact, here is a link:

http://www.google.com/#hl=en&safe=off&q=why+is+ifthethunderdontgetya+so+pedantic%3F&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=why+is+ifthethunderdontgetya+so+pedantic%3F&gs_rfai=&gs_upl=&fp=57d9c86769d1bf04

I hope that helps.

And color me shocked that the government policy of the MMS, that is run by Barry's ever so competent leadership for the last 18 months, results in a monumental disaster. I will admit I had low expectations for Barry McStrawmanSlayer. I expected him to fail, just not this spectacularly. If the mistakes he and his administration made are found to be criminaly negligent than he and his appointees should be held criminally liable. If that's your intent, then I'm on board.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 16, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Ifthethunderdontgetya,

I agree, Noonan lost all credibility when she endorsed Barry.

She's shown herself to be a complete idiot in everything she's written since.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 16, 2010 10:46 PM
========================

Hold on there, I wasn't the one that brought up Noonan. You're not blogging while intoxicated, are you? I suppose this isn't technically illegal, but ironically it is completely Noonanish.

P.S. Peggy Noonan and the Magick Dolphins - Written before that thing that you referenced by Nooners.

http://landwithoutbread.blogspot.com/2010/04/blessed-are-dolphins-for-they-shall.html
!

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | July 16, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Imsinca,

I live in the Houston area and frankly she could do a lot worse. Not a bad place if a bit buggy!

I wish her luck and success, her field of endeavor is both fascinating and rewarding.

In terms of pollution compliance, it's a tough one. Let's face it, all business' pollute to one extent or another and no one wants to live in filth, but I agree there are challenges to making it work so everybody, while not necessarily happy, are at least satisfied.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 16, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Ifthethunderdontgetya,

The article is behind a paywall but it looks a little, shall we say, overwrought?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 16, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

This is a decent post from swopa at FDL, who is not by the way, one of the let's primary him in 2012 folks. You have to check it out for the photoshop of groovy McConnell if for no other reason. Good for a Friday night chuckle if nothing else. Here's a quote to entice you though.

"Atrios suggested a while back that Democrats should tackle the political challenge of the weak economy head-on, introducing a major jobs bill and campaigning on it even if it doesn’t pass. I’d go him one better and say that when it fails, they should openly campaign on filibuster reform, giving the dry “process issue” flesh and blood by saying this is what will let them pass a jobs bill, and a public option for healthcare, and… well, all the politically (and substantively) positive things that Obama foolishly didn’t push harder for when he had the chance.

That’s the only way Democrats will earn any credit for truly being for the things they so often claim to support. It may not outweigh the electoral anvil of a nearly 10% unemployment rate, but at least it will give core Democratic voters a reason to hope, and believe that they might be able to create change. Remember when those used to be important?"

http://firedoglake.com/2010/07/16/late-night-to-survive-2010-dems-need-to-explain-how-2011-will-be-different/

Posted by: lmsinca | July 16, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

BernieLathem,

I don't want to falsely accuse you (at least to your face:-)) but I think you posted a ThinkProgress video about alleged Tea Party racists.

There has been a response.

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/stephen-glass-redux-thinkprogress-org-publishes-completely-fraudulent-video-labeling-tea-partiers-racists/

Not saying there are not racists in the TeaBagger movement, but I have not found any, or at least any forthright ones, at the various rallies I've been to.

Just for the sake of arguement, if the racism is so blatent and rampent, why the need for video fakery, as examples should be quite prevelant.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 16, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

"Not saying there are not racists in the TeaBagger movement"

Here's the problem, since there clearly are, why shouldn't the NAACP be allowed to ask the Tea Party to impugn that faction? Why do they, instead, accuse the NAACP of being racist or using their leverage to incite divisiveness?

Posted by: lmsinca | July 16, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

lmsinca,

Well, I think the various members and attendee's to the TeaBagger events do not consider themselves or their co-gatherers as racist and therefore feel unfairly picked on and falsely accused. I have seen some signs that are questionable and everytime any number of people came up to them and asked them to get rid of it or leave altogether. In fact, at the last major gatherings, I think on 4/15 a lot of groups were prepared for agent provaceteurs and had people stand next to them with signs pointing out that they do not belong or are not part of the organization. Also, the very nature of these groups is incredibly defuse, and despite what others may think or experience, very grassroots from my observation. I react quite negatively toward accusations of racism and really do think it's unfair and used to discredit them.

Also, it's become a media given that racial pejoratives were hurled at African American Congressmen on the day of the final health care vote. I do not believe it happened and I think some evidence would have come to light now if it had considering just how many people, professional and amateur, were recording the activities on that day and at that location.

And finally, the NAACP really parsed their words on the proclimation or whatever and even cut the live audio feed when they were discussing it. It refers to "factions" or some other weasily word, but we all know it means the TeaBaggers as a whole.

Yeah, it's politics, and perceived TeaBagger influence is really annoying the left for some reason, but these accusations I find unfair. I also think it demeans the term "racism" and that will lose its punch in shaming true racists.

Anyway, my two cents, and you did ask.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 17, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

McWing, I guess my problem is that every time I begin to think maybe we're imagining the undercurrent of racism, then they go on and blow it again. I'm convinced it's there but I really have no idea how prevalent it is by the numbers. All I can say is, on a personal, level I'd prefer not to be associated with a group or "movement" with racial undertones. I'm sort of old school and still believe in guilt by association.

See y'all tomorrow or whenever!!!!!

Posted by: lmsinca | July 17, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

@tmwn: I do not find it odd that a President might appoint someone whose political ties run counter to an agencies goals.

Well I guess that is the difference between us.

Appointing people to a regulatory agency where their primary and very lucrative former and probably future employment is from the industry that agency is supposed to regulate, there are clear conflicts of interest. And some of these bush appointees didn't just lobby (although that is bad enough, when they can throw immense sums of big oil, pharma, and health care money at congresscritters and see who it sticks to), they REPRESENTED THE INDUSTRY IN COURT AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT AGENCY THEY NOW HEAD! The appointee gets to determine the legal strategy that the govt uses against the appointee's former and most likely future employer. That's not liberal or conservative governance, it's just lousy governance. The agencies like FDA, EPA, USDA, SEC, minerals management, etc. were established because allowing these industries to self regulate was too hazardous to workers, shareholders, food consumers, patients taking medicines, etc. I don't care if you fellate your newt gringich doll every night or dance naked before the earth mother in the morning, I bet you want your meat to be packaged under sanitary conditions and can not be sold past a certain date, that produce is mostly free of barnyard diseases and toxic pesticides, that the paint you buy for your bedroom doesn't poison you while you sleep, that the drugs you take have been shown to actually have an effect on your condition, etc. It has been repeatedly demonstrated that people want safe work places and neighborhoods. Its not liberal or conservative to protect residents from toxic waste and hazardous emissions from power plants or chemical factories.

"“Relaxing” Rules. Bush officials..." I'm guessing every administration does things like this and it often makes sense."

Relaxing regulations was and is not a now a now and then thing. Republicans and especially bush and reagan, made it their explicit policy to relax regulations or eliminate them IN ALMOST ALL CASES! Govt is the problem became the smoke screen to allow industries to eviscerate health and safety rules, environmental regulations, etc. I mean look at the drop in inspections, enforcement actions, and overall budgets, AT MOST THE REGULATORY AGENCIES, especially, labor, civil rights, environmental enforcement, food inspection, and FINANCIAL REGULATION. Given the size and complexity of the financial markets, do you really think it was reasonable to cut budgets and staff for securities enforcement as the bushies did. They certainly didn't make it more robust as enforcement plunged thru the bush years. For every pithy anecdote you can spin, there are 10 toxic streams, unreclaimed waste dumps, and overflowing sewage plants dumping untreated waste into lakes and streams I can point to. cont...

Posted by: srw3 | July 17, 2010 1:48 AM | Report abuse

2tmwn:"n conservative administrations... we could get whatever we want.”" To make me doubly freakish I do not understand why every administration does not ruthlessly vets regulations and constantly assess their value with the business community.

Again a clear difference between us. The business community values 1 thing, profits. What corporations want is profit. If pesky enviromental rules get in the way, you think that the government should help corporations get around them. What about the regulatory value to the workers and general population of clean water, air, safe food, non-toxic paint, etc.? How much is the lives and safety of workers and communities worth vs a company's bottom line? The bush administration uniformly came down on the side of the corporations. Reagan and Bush in particular had their thumb on the scale when balancing health and environmental safety vs corporate interests. This is fundamentally wrong.

And again, effective monitoring of food, drug, and other products to insure that they are non toxic and actually do what their labels claim doesn't seem like a partisan issue. When food inspections drop by half while food production at least kept up with population growth, the safety of the food supply is at risk. Finally a somewhat neutered but still important finreg bill will provide some basic protection from predatory and unscrupulous lending, usurious interest rates, and outrageous bank fees. I remember the time when banks redlining neighborhoods on racial lines was both legal and commonplace, when there were no regulations against housing discrimination, when realtors wouldn't show non-white clients homes in certain neighborhoods or would confine certain "kinds" of people to certain neighborhoods. IT WAS THE LAWS AND REGULATIONS, AND THEIR ACTUAL ENFORCEMENT BY REGULATORS THAT BELIEVED IN ENFORCING THE LAW AND NOT HELPING BANKS AND REALTORS GET AROUND IT THAT BROUGHT THESE PRACTICES (MOSTLY) TO AN END.

And don't think for a minute that if enforcement of equal housing rights went away, these kinds of abuses would be back.

Are you an Anglelophile who wants to get rid of the EPA?
Are you a Paulian who believes that businesses should be allowed to discriminate on the basis of race, gender, etc., without sanctions? (BTW I don't believe that Paul discriminates against groups in his professional life, but if there is only 1 doctor in town and he don't treat coloreds, then...) These are all stops on the deregulation express.

RE: the teaparty. Its not just the signs, (you can blame provocateurs all you want, but there were signs long before any agitators even existed), there are leaders that say and do things that are clearly racially tinged. Not just racial stereotyping, but the rankest form of redbaiting goes on constantly. The group that put up the sign with Lenin and Obama wasn't a lefty plant. There are way too many hammer and sickle signs for them all to be lefty plants. The signs accusing Obama of communism?

Posted by: srw3 | July 17, 2010 2:38 AM | Report abuse

Srw3

Thank you for your response, and while i was not trying for pithy anecdotes to spin I appreciate the compliment.  As I said at the outset, we differ on motivations and or reasons for doing, or not doing things under the Bush regime. I doubt very much that anything I would write could convince you otherwise. I admire your certainty and appreciate your obvious interest in the subject. 

I hope you have a pleasant evening and thanks for the exchange. 

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | July 17, 2010 2:45 AM | Report abuse

@TrollMcWingnut
"Just for the sake of arguement, if the racism is so blatent and rampent, why the need for video fakery, as examples should be quite prevelant."

I'm not going to argue re evidences of racism in the anti-Obama camp, they've been all over the place since before the election (bone through nose, etc) on facebook pages and blogs etc. Many arrived in my email inbox. Nor am I going to argue re such evidences at tea party rallies as there have been many. Those are simple facts.

Your PJMedia link doesn't "debunk" nor produce evidence of "video fakery". There's a single valid criticism re case 1) where "black in heart" is omitted. But it's unclear what the fellow might have meant by "too black" (is Obama too much like black blacks (Farrakhan, Wright) and not enough like white blacks (Cosby, Rice)? We'll note that the rest of what the guy says is simply nuts.

In case 2), PJ suggests the attendee is a progressive plant but there is nothing to back that up. There are white supremicists in the US and they've had a presence in the movement regardless of ratio. The claim adds that he's "likely from the Crash the Tea Party movement" but there was no such movement, just a Portland guy (I talked to him on the phone) with no connections and no organization AND he didn't even have the stupid idea until much later. That somebody with a camera tried to get him to go away tells us nothing about the TP movement's members nor ideas, as PJ tries to claim. It tells us that someone with a camera (why the camera?) had a goal of trying to insulate the TP movement from criticism for radical elements that might turn up.

I won't bother with the rest.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 17, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Here's Drum on the racism that's been coming from the right's media system since early on (eg Limbaugh) and which is now getting more prevalent and extreme (Beck, FOX)...
http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2010/07/time-timeout

Posted by: bernielatham | July 17, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

No Mr. Vitter, a disingenious 41 word note send by messenger just won't do. Be the man you allege to be and go on her show, give an in person apology and then stick around and actually give real answers to real questions. That sir is what a real man would do. Let's wait and see what you actually do. Perhaps you have gone as far a you are capable of going.

Posted by: dvdon50 | July 17, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

A lot of folks are pointing to Scott Brown's facebook page... http://www.facebook.com/pages/Scott-Brown/178795233167?v=wall#!/pages/Scott-Brown/178795233167?v=wall

It doesn't put one in a very good mood after reading the postings there. It's a powerful dose of "We has seen the enemy and he is us".

Posted by: bernielatham | July 17, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Apologies if I linked this earlier. Ed Kilgore writes one of the best pieces I've read on the present conservative strategy re promoting racism and then trying to flip criticism for what they are doing as the real instance of racism...
http://www.thedemocraticstrategist.org/strategist/2010/07/anti-anti-racism.php#comments

This actually isn't a new trick. It was the strategy that Clint Bolick (particularly) used to mount legal attacks on affirmative action laws - whites are disadvantaged by such laws and THAT is racism.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 17, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Krugman on what to expect if the Republicans gain control of the house... http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/

And he's right, of course.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 17, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

And Krugman, echoing Yglesias, makes the compelling case for Warren...

"For Elizabeth Warren
I don’t have any idea what’s really going on with regard to the new head of the Consumer Financial Protection Board. But Matt Yglesias is right: there’s a strong prima facie case for appointing Elizabeth Warren, who was instrumental in getting the institution created. As Matt says, such an appointment would raise the agency’s profile, and help attract first-rate staff.

There’s also a political aspect. The Obama administration suffers from the perception that it’s been too much in the pocket of Wall Street — partly because there’s at least a grain of truth to the accusation. Appointing a prominent pro-consumer crusader would have to help repair the image, while appointing somebody unknown to the public, especially when expectations are running high, would hurt.

And bear in mind that Warren really is a pioneering expert on household debt and financial distress, who has also shown an ability to work effectively in an official position. Against that, whatever personal quarrels she may or may not have had shouldn’t count at all."
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/16/for-elizabeth-warren/

Have a good day, all.

Come on, Axelrod and team, you need to get this one right.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 17, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Hey all, hope you're all doing well. I'm going to take off today, need a break.

Thanks for that link, Bernie. I've said it before, but I need to link Kilgore more often. He's great.

And BBQ, agreed, direct calling out is definitely called for. It elevates that individual Republican, of course...

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 17, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

It's a very frustrating situation Bernie. I would prefer to be discussing policy over racism issues every day of the week. This faux NBPP outrage and the billboard followed by asinine comments from the one Tea Party leader keeps it all front and center.

We had friends out for dinner last month and held off all night discussing politics, until dessert that is. I promised my husband after all. A couple of the old guys are pretty conservative but I'd never heard a racist peep out of either for 35 years, until then. A few comments spouting off birth certificates and a Kenyan father mixed in with effing illegals, blah blah blah. Anyway, all I said was yeah it was too bad my neighbor down the street still rounds the corner of our neighborhood two years after having an Obama sign in my yard calling us "n____r lovers". You should have heard the excuses flying.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 17, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Simon Johnson weighs in again re Warren.

"This can now go only one of two ways.

1. Elizabeth Warren gets the job. Bridges are mended and the White House regains some political capital. Secretary Geithner is weakened slightly but he’ll recover.
2. Someone else gets the job, despite Treasury’s claims that Elizabeth Warren was not blocked. The deception in this scenario would be nauseating – and completely blatant. “Everyone was considered on their merits” and “the best candidate won” will convince who exactly?

Despite the growing public reaction, outcome #2 is the most likely and the White House needs to understand this, plain and clear – there will be complete and utter revulsion at its handling of financial regulatory reform both on this specific issue and much more broadly. The administration’s position in this area is already weak, its achievements remain minimal, its speaking points are lame, and the patience of even well-inclined people is wearing thin.

Failing to appoint Elizabeth Warren would be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. It will go down in the history books as a turning point – downwards – for this administration."

Posted by: lmsinca | July 17, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I'm out as well, have a nice day Greg and Bernie and everyone else who drops in. Going out early to get my errands run as it's hotter than blazes here right now.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 17, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

I still have a couple of things to link. This one's a petition urging Obama to choose Warren.

http://act.boldprogressives.org/cms/sign/petition_warren/?source=hill

Posted by: lmsinca | July 17, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Geithner in charge of well, everything, including consumer watchdog for now.

"The effort to dramatically expand financial regulation bears the stamp of no one more than Geithner. The bill not only hews closely to the initial draft he released last summer but also anoints him -- as long as he remains Treasury secretary -- as the chief of a new council of senior regulators. The legislation also puts him at the head of the new consumer bureau until a director is confirmed by the Senate, allowing Geithner to mold the watchdog in coming months."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/16/AR2010071603732.html?sid=ST2010071604205

Posted by: lmsinca | July 17, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I find it interesting that a triple chinned guy that likes to wear diapers during sex has the audacity to make fun of anyone for any reason.

Do all right wing men think that short hair on a woman makes them look like a man? Or is it just because Maddow is "out?" Personally, I find her attractive. The haircut and clothing suit her nicely.

Posted by: ramko | July 17, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I've got a link, too:

http://www.csmonitor.com/Money/Robert-Reich-s-Blog/2010/0716/Finance-bill-A-mountain-of-paper-a-molehill-of-reform

=>Thursday the President pronounced that “because of this [financial reform] bill the American people will never again be asked to foot the bill for Wall Street’s mistakes.”

As if to prove him wrong, Goldman Sachs simultaneously announced it had struck a deal with federal prosecutors to pay $550 million to settle federal claims it misled investor — a sum representing a mere 15 days profit for the firm based on its 2009 earnings. Goldman’s share price immediately jumped 4.3 percent, and the Street proclaimed its chair and CEO, Lloyd (“Goldman is doing God’s work”) Blankfein, a winner. Financial analysts rushed to affirm a glowing outlook for Goldman stock.

Blankfein, you may recall, was at the meeting in late 2008 when Tim Geithner and Hank Paulson decided to bail out AIG, and thereby deliver through AIG a $13 billion no-strings-attached taxpayer windfall to Goldman. In a world where money is the measure of everything, Blankfein’s power and influence have grown. Presumably, Goldman can expect more windfalls in future years.<=

He's Reich, of course.

No doubt Geithner, Summers, and company are happy.
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | July 17, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Reality Check.

The Tea Baggers did not introduce the notion of establishing a welcoming political party for Racists.

The Republican Party made that their political strategy right after the Civil Rights legislation was passed.

Recall how Richard Nixon introduced the Republican Racist Appeal Agenda, and labeled it as: The Republican Party's "Southern Strategy".

The Republicans have maintained that strategy to this very day. Since the Tea Party, is just a phony label, for Right Wing Republicans, of course it embraces all those Racists, that Richard Nixon and subsequent Republican leaders have assiduously courted for over forty years.

Posted by: Liam-still | July 17, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Why did he apologize? Did Madsow apologize for all the vile things she says night in and night out to the delight of her nine viewers? Did Keith BloMoreMen apologize for all the disgusting things he says night in and night our to the delight of his five veiwers? Did the democRats apologize for all the rotten things they called Bush? Vitter shouldn't have apologized,its not his fault Madcow is a total butt ugly dog.

Posted by: fe59 | July 17, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I can see how upset you really are about people saying "vile things". Glad to see that you did not stoop to the level of people who say "vile things" about others. You chose to take the high road, and not say any "vile things" about the people you named. Kudos to you, for not saying any "vile things" about them.

Posted by: Liam-still | July 17, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

The story about the Swag-Hag is hilarious!!! I'm so glad that her IQ is STILL going down.. it just makes her an easier target for analysis..

Posted by: rbaldwin2 | July 17, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness for Gail Collins.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/17/opinion/17collins.html?_r=1&hp

Such a wonderfully sane person.

Posted by: AllButCertain | July 17, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Damn it! Sargent!

Have you written your Cheney obit yet?

Posted by: KarenHedwigBackman | July 17, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Gail Collins is a witless purveyor of inside-the-beltway pablum.

Have some Krugman.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/16/after-the-fall/
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | July 17, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

thunder--Thanks. Just not in the mood for an ulcer today.

Posted by: AllButCertain | July 17, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

@abc - Gail Collins has become a national treasure. Thanks, darlin'.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 17, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Beck and Bachmann - now THERE'S a pair.

"Beck's conspiracy theory: Financial reform would let Obama "take over" companies like Fox News

Beck suggested law would let Obama "go in and take over Fox." While discussing the law with Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) on his radio show, Beck suggested it would let Obama "go in and take over Fox" if he said the company was "hurting the economy." Bachmann responded, "Well, under this law, that would be possible now."
http://mediamatters.org/research/201007160057

How do you get to the place where you simply do not care whether what you say is true or not?

Posted by: bernielatham | July 17, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Shameless FAUX Nooze race-baiting, courtesy of Andrew Alexander.

http://mediamatters.org/blog/201007170014

I like Greg's blog, but as I participate (for a while I'd sworn of on clicking on the WaPoo), I do remember that the WaPoo is far different from what it was when I grew up in D.C.

For shame, Donald Graham!
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | July 17, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Joan Walsh criticizes the Washington Post's ombudsman, Alexander, for playing into right wing's hands in covering the Black Panther story instead of de-bunking it.

"Alexander also tells a somewhat right-wing version of the story, insisting the Bush administration filed a voter-intimidation lawsuit against the NBPP, its chairman and both men at the Philly polling place, but the Obama administration ultimately went after the Panther with the billy club, with a "narrow injunction" forbidding him from bringing a weapon within 100 feet of Philadelphia polling places.

Sadly for Alexander, he seems to have written before Abigail Thernstrom told Politico she backed that decision, and said, “This doesn’t have to do with the Black Panthers, this has to do with [her Republican colleagues'] fantasies about how they could use this issue to topple the [Obama] administration,” said Thernstrom. “My fellow conservatives on the commission had this wild notion they could bring Eric Holder down and really damage the president.

But the right wing needs the thuggish but miniscule and derided NBBP to matter, and to tie the crazy group to our black president, in order to advance their narrative of lies about Obama's "racism," tyranny and illegitimacy to be president. If they can convince enough people that Obama was elected thanks to intimidation by the NBPP, and "voter fraud" by the now-defunct ACORN, they won't even need the crazy Birthers to prove he's not legitimately president, even though he won with a bigger mandate than any first-term president since Lyndon Johnson (who of course had become president after the Kennedy assassination.)"

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/joan_walsh/politics/2010/07/17/wash_post_gives_new_black_panther_story_new_credibility

Posted by: lmsinca | July 17, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Women do not apologize to men when they often make sexist and gender biased comments. Why then should men? Gender equality? A sham. His comments were funnier than offensive. Women can dish it, they just can't take it.

Posted by: techresmgt | July 17, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Vitters the diaper man sent a note instead of apolgising on the air. He like most repubs are cowards and jerks. He isn't fit to to be in government, in any capacity. Why arn't the family values folks doing something about this prostitute seeing adulterer? That's why I can no longer take what a 'family values" person says seriously. When people apply their own labels, its usually to cover up some moral flaw.

Posted by: jimbobkalina | July 18, 2010 5:11 AM | Report abuse

@Ims - Thanks for the Walsh piece on the Wa Post ombudsman. That's now two in a row for Alexander. It is painful and discouraging to see this institution degrade so deeply.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 18, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Frank Rich today on the Passion of the Mel...
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/18/opinion/18rich.html?hp

You know, I'd totally forgotten that Gibson had done that beloved-by-the-Christian-right snuff film, Passion of the Christ.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 18, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Here's the last graph from Sam Stein's piece on the possibilities of Jeb Bush running in 2012:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-tv/sam-stein-discusses-the-b_b_649059.html

"I think that Bush-ism is still alive," said John Feehery, a longtime GOP consultant. "There is, however, an anti-Bushism in the party associated with the Rand Paul crowd. They don't like neocons and government. And Sarah Palin could be seen as part of that group... What people like about Jeb Bush is that he is smart and conservative and well-liked by the base... If there is going to be a Bush revival, Jeb is going to be the leader of that revival. But he has to contend with that [anti-Bushism]."

Posted by: bernielatham | July 18, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Greenwald catches the NYT in the clearest possible case of nationalist/propagandist double standards on "torture"...


"Here's a particularly illustrative example of how The New York Times' editorial policy -- it cannot be "torture" if the United States does it -- obfuscates the truth and actively bolsters government propaganda. There are countless examples like this, but this one is unusually stark, especially since these two episodes occur within one day of each other:

From today's article on how the CIA used tactics never authorized by the DOJ:

A former Bush Justice Department official who approved brutal interrogation methods by the C.I.A. has told Congress that he never authorized several other rough tactics reportedly inflicted on terrorism suspects -- including prolonged shackling to a ceiling and repeated beatings.

So in NYT World, even shackling helpless detainees to the ceiling for prolonged periods and repeatedly beating them is not "torture," but are rather merely "rough tactics" or "brutal interrogation methods" . . . if it's high-level U.S. government officials who have authorized them. But, from a NYT article yesterday:

[A] federal appeals court last week ordered the United States to provide a haven for a woman facing the likelihood of torture in China. . . . Others named in the same warrant and caught by the Chinese police had described beatings, suffocation, electric shocks, sleep deprivation and other forms of torture to get them to disclose details about the human rights group to which they all belonged.

Many of the same tactics used by the U.S. are magically transformed into unambiguous "torture" when used by China, notwithstanding the categorical denials by the Chinese Government that the tactics they use never rise to the level of "torture"."

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/07/16/nyt/index.html

Note that last sentence showing how the US (and the NYT) plays EXACTLY the same game of propagandist denial as China.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 18, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Dr. Frankenstein: "Look, we used only cadaver parts from normal, good-hearted local people. What could be more in the best traditions of England and democracy than that?"

The Weekly Standard links Mary Matalin appearing on CNN and describing Tea Party Express leader Mark Williams as a "crackpot" with "no influence".
http://www.nationalreview.com/

Posted by: bernielatham | July 18, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

(sorry, should read "national review" rather than weekly standard. I'm sure you can understand the confusion)

Posted by: bernielatham | July 18, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I recently re-watched Citizen Kane . It struck me how similar the part about Kane leaving his wife, and then spending a fortune trying to persuade the public that his trollop mistress could sing, is to what Mel Gibson has recently done.

Posted by: Liam-still | July 18, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Someone noted yesterday, in response to rightwing criticism of Obama taking time off and playing golf, that Boehner plays (if I recall correctly) three times a week.

Benen notes another comparison re the work ethic thang...

"In his first 18 months in office, Obama has taken 65 days off. At this point in Bush's first term, he'd taken 216 days off -- well over triple Obama's total."

Posted by: bernielatham | July 18, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Hi Liam...it's been so long since I've seen the film that I'd forgotten I tried to model my life on that of the subject. I'd come to believe my trollop-mistress was just a gift from god.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 18, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Have a nice day all.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 18, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Mel's Xanadu?

"Mel Gibson builds a $37m church in the Malibu hills
Perth Now ^ | September 5, 2007 | Peta Hellard

Posted on 09/06/2007 11:50:10 AM PDT by NYer

MEL Gibson has poured a further $10 million into his controversial sect in the Malibu hills as he oversees construction of a 400-seat church to expand his flock.

A federal tax filing reveals that the troubled actor-director made the large lump sum donation earlier this year to his Holy Family Catholic Church, which is situated in the secluded Agoura Hills.

The private church now has $37 million in its coffers - up from $27 million last year, according to the tax document.

Gibson's secretive sect is not recognized by the Roman Catholic Church because it does not acknowledge the authority of the Pope or the Vatican and rejects the universally accepted teachings of the Second Vatican Council.

The church - which offers a daily morning mass in Latin - follows an antiquated ideology of Catholicism dating back to the 16th century.

Female followers of Gibson's church must abide by a strict dress code, requiring them to wear veils over their hair and long skirts, with a ban on pants for women.

The exclusive parish currently caters for about 70 families, with the existing chapel having seating for only 100 people.

However, the new church, located 400m up the hill from the current building, will seat about 400 when it is completed in the next 12 months.

Visible throughout much of the valley it overlooks, the high-ceilinged church is being constructed in the architectural style of an old-fashioned Spanish mission. "

Posted by: Liam-still | July 18, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

The day Obama does this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3p9y_OEAdc is the day the GOP has room to talk about golf.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | July 18, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

This is pretty good from the Bluetexan. He's talking about Glenn Reynolds here and a few others.

"Poor Putz. Despite 18 months of obsessively linking daily to Black Panther stories, Teabagger rallies and hehindeeding the latest anti-Obama screed from the likes of Confederate Yankee -- not a dent.

Despite all the economic trouble, the oil spill, bad news abroad etc., over the past several months Obama’s approval rating has steadily held just a tad below 50% (the RealClearPolitics average has not strayed outside the 46-50% range since last year). It’s not great, but still healthy.

Just to put things in perspective, that’s a couple points higher than McCain’s share of the popular vote. It also means that roughly 90% of Obama voters still approve of him and thus he has not yet suffered any major erosion of support. Furthermore, while some 10% of his voters are disappointed in him, virtually none of them have yet turned against him, as evidenced by the fact that the RealClearPolitics average disapproval rating of 47.1% (as of right now) just happens to be exactly the same as the percentage of Americans who voted against Obama.

Incidentally, this also means that a year and a half of angry rhetoric by Limbaugh, Beck et al. did not manage to convince anybody other than McCain voters that the Obama presidency is not good for the country."

http://instaputz.blogspot.com/2010/07/looks-like-glenn-reynolds-is-wasting.html

Posted by: lmsinca | July 18, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

And Digby caught this:

"Paved roads, historical emblems of American achievement, are being torn up across rural America and replaced with gravel or other rough surfaces as counties struggle with tight budgets and dwindling state and federal revenue. State money for local roads was cut in many places amid budget shortfalls.

The heavy machines at work in Jamestown, N.D., are grinding the asphalt off road beds, grading the bed and packing the material back down to create a new road surface.

In Michigan, at least 38 of the 83 counties have converted some asphalt roads to gravel in recent years. Last year, South Dakota turned at least 100 miles of asphalt road surfaces to gravel. Counties in Alabama and Pennsylvania have begun downgrading asphalt roads to cheaper chip-and-seal road, also known as "poor man's pavement." Some counties in Ohio are simply letting roads erode to gravel."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704913304575370950363737746.html

Her conclusion:

"Maybe we need to realize that our old arguments about how Americans are so accustomed to living the good life that they would resist the natural consequence of this new feudalism aren't going to work. This anti-tax fervor has passed out of the political realm and into the religious. When people would rather that their kids choke on dirt than pay taxes, I'm guessing that pointing out that their unwillingness to pay taxes will result in tainted meat and dangerous drugs won't convince them. Living in a primitive state is a sign of their devotion."

Posted by: lmsinca | July 18, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

lmsinca

YOU ROCK WITH THE FACTS!!

Posted by: danders5000 | July 18, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

A CLASS ACT LIKE RACHAEL...METOPHORICALLY SPEAKING COULD GET WORDS OF VOMIT THROWN HER WAY...

HOWEVER...GIRLFRIEND...ALWAYS MANANGED TO COME AWAY UNSCALED

YES MR. SARGENT TIME TO MOVE ON...NO NEWS HERE

KUDOS TO RACHAEL...AGAIN, AND AGAIN AND AGAIN!!!!!

Posted by: danders5000 | July 18, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

A CLASS ACT LIKE RACHAEL...COULD GET WORDS OF VOMIT THROWN HER WAY...METOPHORICALLY SPEAKING

HOWEVER...GIRLFRIEND...ALWAYS MANANGED TO COME AWAY UNSCALED

YES MR. SARGENT TIME TO MOVE ON...NO NEWS HERE

KUDOS TO RACHAEL...AGAIN, AND AGAIN AND AGAIN!!!!!

Posted by: danders5000 | July 18, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Have you heard the one about the republican politician that did good things for the constituency and the nation? (To date there is no such scenario in fact and no joke to that effect. Perhaps that is the joke).

Posted by: hoser3 | July 18, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Hey, you Hoser! Good one!

Actually, it occurred to me to wonder about Richard Lugar (R-IN). In the days of Jesse Helms, he seemed like a very sane guy. It's hard (for me) to imagine there not being some corner of his character that's still susceptible to an appeal to sanity.

Posted by: jzap | July 19, 2010 5:10 AM | Report abuse

Rachel has more class than a thousand "Diaper Daves".

Posted by: lazaruslong | July 19, 2010 6:56 AM | Report abuse

Krugman on "the pundit delusion" (it's something other than the economy, stupid)
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/19/opinion/19krugman.html?hp

Posted by: bernielatham | July 19, 2010 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Morning, Bernie and others. Hoping to have morning roundup posted soon...

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 19, 2010 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Bravo! Here's an example of what the Washington Post can get right
http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/articles/

Posted by: bernielatham | July 19, 2010 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin - exactly like Shakespeare
http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2010/jul/19/sarah-palin-refudiate-new-word

At least we now know her handlers are allowing her to compose her tweets. Have to start somewhere.

Posted by: bernielatham | July 19, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Netanyahu chooses a foreign minister even more extreme and racist than himself. What could possibly go wrong?
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/opportunity-for-change-1.302725

Posted by: bernielatham | July 19, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Morning all!!!!!

I missed this yesterday, mostly because I gave up watching these shows over a year ago or risk a shoe thrown at the teevee, but apparently Gregory was practically on his knees trying to get answers from Cornyn and Sessions. In this one bit Sessions seems to be channeling Palin. There's more at the link including video.

GREGORY: And, Congressman Sessions, I want to go back to you. This has been a debate so far this morning about, you know, the relative merits of Republican rule during the Bush years and what this president has or has not accomplished so far. I think what a lot of people want to know is if Republicans do get back into power, what are they going to do?

REP. SESSIONS: It’s quite simple that the American people do understand the agendas that are before us. They understand what the president and the speaker stand for, and they understand what Republicans stand for. Republicans, and especially our candidates who are all over this country, very strong standing with the American people back home, we need to live within our own means. And certainly the projections that are ahead including health care and the projections for unemployment for a long time and debt for as far as we can see is staggering. We need to live within our own means. Secondly, we need to make sure that we read the bills. These bills are so bad, which is why we don’t have a budget that is being looked at now. The 2011 budget is staggering in terms of taxes, and the, the discipline that is lacking from this House Democratic leadership to even debate and bring the bill for the budget and appropriations to the floor is a lack of leadership. And lastly…

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/07/18/sessions-cornyn-no-specifics/

Posted by: lmsinca | July 19, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

K-Lo forwards the marketing strategy voiced months ago by Matalin...

"We don’t like this fundamental transformation, and we’re going to do something about it.” With that line, in her savvy “Mama Grizzlies” video, Sarah Palin may have captured not only the political mood of much of the country, but also why women seem to be getting ready to make tea — and political hay — this year.

Good advertising is not everything in politics. But it sure doesn’t hurt. Kellyanne Conway, president of The Polling Company, says the former governor of Alaska, with her bearish message, “is calling for a Moms’ Mobilization to encourage millions of women like her to tell Washington to tighten its belt the way they’ve done." http://article.nationalreview.com/438250/risky-business-mothers-against-the-madness/kathryn-jean-lopez

Note as well the secondary memes refutiating change (it's scary) and government spending (this one is getting the big push as a means to rebrand conservativism and as a means to derogate government as a social institution).

Posted by: bernielatham | July 19, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Here's a little more from think progress linked above.

"Rich Lowry, the editor of the conservative National Review, called Cronyn and Sessions’ performance “disappointing” on Twitter, writing, “a consensus GOP agenda” is “badly needed…so these guys have something to say.”

In a candid moment on Bill Bennett’s radio show this week, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) seemed to admit why Republicans refuse to give specifics. Republicans shouldn’t “lay out a complete agenda,” King said, because people might not like it.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 19, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

All, Morning Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/07/the_morning_plum_54.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 19, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Morning Ims. Are you picking up anything definitive yet on the reported sea-floor seepage?

Posted by: bernielatham | July 19, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

@tmwn:

Just to be clear:
you believe that hiring attorneys who:
- have argued for industries against the government,
-come from highly lucrative careers in the industry they are supposedly monitoring and regulating
- most likely will return to a very lucrative job in the industry they finished "regulating" when they finish in govt:
-it is fine the heads of regulatory agencies and cabinet positions actively try to reduce that agency's enforcement powers,
-think that industries can pretty much regulate themselves
-spend most or all of their time consulting with industry and industry lobbyists about regulations and only have proforma meetings with people who would like enforcement of the regulations on the books or even new regulation to address industry practices that could adversely affect the public health and environmental quality
-That the head of Chief Counsel for the Food and Drug Administration. Previously, as a lawyer, he filed a number of lawsuits against the FDA arguing against its right to regulate drug companies.

just checkin'

Posted by: srw3 | July 19, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

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